Dolly Parton is famous for being one of the most-honored female country performers of all time, however many may not know that for almost 20 years she has been donating books to children, as part of a program she started in her hometown called Imagination Library. So in addition to being an iconic American Country music star, she is also an author, philanthropist and champion for literacy.
Dolly started Imagination Library as way to make books accessible to all children, no matter their financial situation. Now, nearly 20 years later the organization has grown to be international, with a $20 million dollar budget and distribution of over 9 million free books each year. Literacy is very important to Dolly because she grew up in a household without books and her father never learned to read or write. Because of this, she has made it her mission to do everything she can to make sure every child has a collection of books they can call their own. Her feelings are that if a child develops a love for reading early, most likely it is something they will hold on to for the rest of their life. The benefits of reading to and with your child are proven. Kids are more likely to succeed in school and in adult life if they were regularly exposed to books from an early age.
Does your child have their own book collection yet? It's never too early to start reading to your child. Even in infancy, there is research showing the benefits books can offer. Children start learning before they can talk, and start observing your behavior from birth, so set a good example for them to develop a love for reading. There's no doubt you will be pleased at the results in both academics and in life!
Learn how you can sign your child up for Imagination Library to receive free books each month until their 5th birthday . They'll enjoy getting a little something in the mail with their name on it each month and hopefully develop their own love of literature as well!